When you think of Barbados, Rugby might not be the first thing that springs to mind but every year this tough-tackling sport is growing in leaps and bounds on this little island paradise.

You can enjoy Rugby all year round in Barbados with regular local matches, annual Tournaments and Championships, as well as international Rugby 7s Tournament featuring some of the world’s best Men’s and Women’s Club teams who come to the island just to compete and keep the competition fierce!

As we get ready to host the fifth consecutive Rugby Barbados World 7s (RBW7s) this December at Kensington Oval, the standard of Rugby in Barbados has now been elevated to world-class, especially in the Women’s Elite Division and is well worth making the trip for!


The birthplace of Caribbean Rugby

Barbados has deep historical roots with the game of Rugby. It is said that matches on the island date all the way back to the 1900s when British troops were stationed here which distinguishes Barbados as the official birthplace of Caribbean Rugby. And, because of these well-documented military ties, the national ‘home of Rugby’ remains at the Garrison Savannah, a UNESCO World Heritage site and key tourist attraction in Barbados, to this very day. 

Formed in 1964, the Barbados Rugby Football Union (BRFU) was one of the founding members of the original Caribbean Rugby Football Union. As the governing body for Rugby in Barbados, it is responsible for organising local and national team fixtures, training sessions, domestic Rugby-related activities, and international tours. Despite being a small island, the BRFU is now also a full member of World Rugby, Rugby Americas North (RAN), and the Barbados Olympic Association Inc. (BOA).

Since its humble beginnings of a single team, Rugby in Barbados has significantly grown to now include four Men’s Club teams and a vibrant School’s Rugby Programme that is in eight Secondary and six Primary schools across the island. Internationally, the Barbados National Senior and U-19 Men’s 15s, the Senior Women’s 7s, and Senior Men’s 7s teams proudly represent Barbados in Rugby. Girls and boys U-17 teams also entertain visiting overseas school sides with 15-a-side, 10-a-side and 7-a-side matches played at the Garrison Savannah from time to time. 


Playing in paradise 

Rugby on the island continues to have an action-packed calendar of events, with the bulk of the matches being played during the annual local season – officially from September to February. These games are played once a week (generally every Saturday) at the Garrison Savannah and are FREE to watch, with much excitement and socialising also taking place off the field! 

For the serious Rugby fan, you can also come along and watch our Rugby 15s and 7s teams going through their paces at their training sessions on various nights of the week and weekend. For the most up-to-date training schedule, please email the BRFU barbadosrugby@olympic.org.bb or visit the BRFU Facebook page @rugbybarbados.

World Rugby’s ‘Get Into Rugby’ (GIR) Programme is another wonderful addition to the rugby scene in Barbados and has an active local membership working on its expansion into our schools. The Programme introduces over 1000 children each year to the sport of Rugby in Barbados and is administered by the recently formed GIR Barbados, which is responsible for the management and administration of this international initiative here on the island. GIR Barbados is headed by Director Kevyn Murrell (VP of the BRFU) and comprises a ‘Youth’ arm that focuses on the development of young players as well as a ‘Schools’ arm focusing on introducing new players to the game. 

In another exciting step forward for Rugby in Barbados, our very first Barbadian Rugby player was accepted into a Rugby Scholarship at Arkansas State University in the USA in 2018. This is a noteworthy achievement for the sport and raises the bar even higher for our up-and-coming local players to reach their full potential. Watch this space!


2019 – what a year!

Last year saw plenty of Rugby action for Barbados both at home and abroad, with some great results.

In June, Barbados’ Flying Fish Team won the highly-respected London International 7s Tournament (LIT7s) Men’s Open Division in England, with the Team’s Captain awarded the Tournament’s MVP prize.

Early July, the Barbados Men’s 7s Team participated in the Rugby Americas North (RANs) Championships in the Cayman Islands against strong regional competition. The event was also a qualification event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, so Barbados was extremely proud to participate.

Next up, the RANs Championships for Men’s U-19s and Women’s 10s was held at the Bellevue Plantation Polo Fields in none other than beautiful Barbados. Best of all, it was free entry for spectators to come and enjoy the top-class Rugby in a top-class destination! Barbados was represented in both divisions and as always did their country proud.

At the end of August, our Men’s 7s travelled to the Rugbytown 7s Tournament in Denver USA for more nail-biting competition with our international Rugby peers.

Come December, Barbados played host to the Gavin Clarke Memorial Charity Golf Tournament in the name of Breast Cancer Research and was proudly supported by Rugby Barbados World 7s (RBW7s) Official Tournament Partner JetBlue Vacations, who provided the first prize of 2 roundtrip tickets to any JetBlue destination plus a US$ 1000 JetBlue Vacations Certificate to each player in the winning pairing. 

After the Charity Golf Event, the Rugby Barbados World 7s (RBW7s) was again hosted at the 11 000 seater Kensington Oval over 13-14 December with rave reviews. As a renowned premier sporting destination, Barbados welcomes a number of overseas teams each year for this highly-anticipated event which is the longest running Club Rugby 7s Tournament in the Caribbean – a definite ‘must-do’ in Barbados for any sporting enthusiast!

Moving into 2020, at the time of publishing, it is also anticipated that the Coburg Saxons from Ontario, Canada will be visiting the island towards the end of February for two matches against our eager local sides. Stay tuned …


World-class 7s at the home of World-class 6s!

Since it’s relocation to Barbados from Trinidad in 2016, the RBW7s Tournament has gone from strength to strength, and this year will be no exception. As the Tournament continues to grow in popularity amongst locals and international visitors alike, event organisers say it will soon rival the likes of the Hong Kong 7s and Dubai 7s, especially in the Women’s Elite Division.

Taking place over two action-packed days at the iconic Kensington Oval, RBW7s proudly boasts an array of supportive partners who each year offer various special deals such as discount car rentals, vacation packages, and island tours to RBW7s teams, fans and spectators to enjoy all that Barbados has to offer once the Rugby action is finished!

Arguably the highlight of Rugby events calendar in Barbados, the Tournament has grown so much that it is now the highest paying Women’s Club Rugby 7s Tournament the world, with the prize money increasing from US $3000 in 2017 to a massive $20 000 in 2019! Last year saw 20 international world-class Club Rugby teams from USA, England, Canada, Guadeloupe, Trinidad, St. Lucia and of course Barbados all competing for the winner’s title and the sterling silver trophies donated by another RBW7s Official Tournament Partner, Hamilton & Inches. 

This year, the Tournament will be held again at Kensington Oval on 12-13 December and with a variety of affordable ticketing packages for fans to choose from, it surely won’t disappoint!

Businesses and individuals are invited to partner with RBW7s and take advantage of the extensive local and international coverage that the Tournament receives. There is a range of exciting partnership options – from one-off donations to full packages – that can be tailored to suit.

Interested teams can officially register for the 2020 Tournament from April. For more RBW7s Tournament information and partnership choices, follow @BarbadosSevens on Facebook, or visit www.rugbybarbadosworld7s.com.